Comfortable Wisdom Teeth Extractions in Lady Lake
By their late teens, most adults have a complete set of permanent teeth – 14 on top and 14 on bottom. The front teeth are useful in biting and tearing at foods, and there are three main types – incisors, canines, and bicuspids. The back teeth are used for grinding and chewing foods, and they are known as molars. The average jaw is large enough to accommodate these 28 teeth comfortably, and allow the top and bottom arches of teeth to fit together properly. However, between the ages of 17 and 24, most patients develop a third set of molars commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, patients typically do not have space to accommodate these teeth within their smiles. When this is the case, patients may need to consider extraction. Contact our Lady Lake, FL oral surgery practice to find out more about wisdom tooth extraction.
Common Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Not all patients need to have their wisdom teeth extracted, but it is extremely rare for these teeth to erupt without concern. Some of the main reasons we recommend wisdom teeth be extracted include:
- Impaction – if wisdom teeth are unable to erupt from the gum line, they will need to be extracted to prevent potential damage to oral health.
- Crowding – wisdom teeth may be able to erupt, but they force teeth to shift too close together making oral hygiene more difficult and increasing patients’ risk for a variety of issues including tooth decay, gum disease, and bite misalignment.
- Misalignment – in order to accommodate the final set of molars, teeth may shift, and in some situations, this shifting causes patients’ bites to move out of alignment. This can lead to a number of issue, and be costly to correct.
- Decay – wisdom teeth can be more difficult to clean, and this makes them potentially hazardous for surrounding healthy teeth.
When to Remove Wisdom Teeth
We recommend patients remove wisdom teeth early. These preventive extractions are typically less painful as the wisdom teeth have not had the opportunity to fuse completely with the jawbone and gum tissue. The longer wisdom teeth remain in the mouth, the more difficult the extraction process becomes. In most cases, we’re able to determine whether patients can maintain their wisdom teeth or should consider extraction around the age of 12.
Wisdom Tooth Development & Evaluation
During regular dental checkups, a general dentist should be assessing the development of wisdom teeth when reviewing diagnostic x-rays. If the dentist determines wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary, he or she will refer the patient to an oral surgeon, like Dr. Karpovck, who can further evaluate your wisdom tooth positioning within the jawline and make an accurate prediction of potential issues.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process
Prior to treatment, we’ll take time to explain your anesthesia options, potential complications, and the exact procedure you’ll undergo. All of our surgical procedures are completed with an adequate level of sedation or anesthesia. For wisdom tooth extraction, we may recommend almost any level of sedation from topical numbing to full general anesthesia. This is largely dependent upon the patient’s surgical history and positioning of the wisdom teeth. Dr. Karpovck is trained and certified to offer a full spectrum of anesthesia options to ensure patient comfort. Some of the risks associated with extractions include nerve damage, sinus or airway issues, and dry socket. On the day of surgery, we’ll remove the teeth, and suture (stitch) the gum tissue back over the socket. For the first hour or so following extraction, we monitor patients to ensure there will be no immediate complications. Once patients are ready to go home, we provide them with an at-home care plan to accelerate the healing process. We will also provide patients with prescriptions for pain relievers and antibiotics.